One thing (among many things) that makes the CIA special is the amazing experiential learning students get, both in a kitchen and business environment. Two examples of this have created quite a bit of excitement for our bachelor's students.
No other college in the world offers an experience quite like "the pitch." Students in the CIA Intrapreneurship Concentration divide into teams, develop their very own culinary concepts, then pitch them to a panel of CIA faculty and industry leaders with an audience looking on. The judges evaluate the concepts just as any potential investor would. They listen to the pitches and ask pointed questions about food cost, labor and training concerns, equipment needs, marketing styles, yield and value perceptions, and much more.
Then comes the fun part—once a winning concept is named, the entire class teams up to actually develop, launch, and operate that concept at The Egg. For an entire semester they run the business, preparing and serving their creations to fellow students and other customers.
"The decision I made to join Intrapreneurship was amazing," says Kyle Wagner, general manager of the most recent concept, Pincho. "I plan to be a business owner one day, so why not get the ball rolling now and have a better understanding of how to build it?"
Another kind of "building" happens at The Egg as well. At first glance, it looks like any other science fair. There are poster boards with colorful numbers and graphs, visual aids and props supporting the results, and dozens of people milling about checking out the entries.
But upon closer inspection, it's not just science…it's culinary science. And the "scientists" are CIA bachelor's students making their senior thesis presentations, the final project in their Culinary Science degree program curriculum.
A highlight of the experience is the opportunity to talk with visiting science professors from other colleges, who provide valuable insights and critiques of the projects.
"The students explain their materials and methods—how they're running it, what they're using—and present their lab results," says Lecturing Instructor of Culinary Science Marisa Monaghan. "It's very exciting for them."